- Associated Press - Sunday, February 23, 2014

SOCHI, Russia (AP) - Japanese Olympians carrying Russian flags. Athletes dancing around to Daft Punk and Blur. And Russia’s latest sports stars getting the biggest roar of all from the Fisht Stadium crowd.

A parade, sure, but this was more nightclub grand entrance than formal procession.

Russian athletes with beaming smiles on their faces jumped up and down and waved to the crowd, with chants of “Ro-ssi-ya!” audible over the pounding dance music at the closing ceremony to the Sochi Games on Sunday night.

Even Vladimir Putin was impressed - the Russian president stood and clapped for the group that won more golds (13) and total medals (33) than any other country.

The most formal part of the entrance was the Russian gold medalists bringing their national flag into the stadium, followed by flag bearers from all 88 countries.

Afterward, the Russian crowd roared loudly for the medal presentation for the men’s 50-kilometer cross-country race, an event swept by three Russians.

- By Oskar Garcia - Twitter https://twitter.com/oskargarcia


Associated Press reporters are filing dispatches about happenings in and around Sochi during the 2014 Winter Games. Follow AP journalists covering the Olympics on Twitter: https://apne.ws/1c3WMiu

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